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The Poole Iron Age logboat project

The Poole Iron Age logboat project is complete. A monograph on this internationally significant object is published by Archaeopress and available to buy either as a pdf or a hard copy.

Because of its fragility and confined position within the glass case at Poole Museum, the vessel could not be moved so, to digitally record the vessel, an innovative approach had to be found.

The Consortium

1st Horizon Surveying & Engineering, Bournemouth University, Pat Tanner, an expert in the digital reconstruction and 3D modelling of vessels and MAST developed the methodology.

A photo of The logboat prepped and ready to be recorded
The logboat prepped and ready to be recorded

The Technology

Other known digital recording technologies such as a Faro Arm would have been unable to access the narrow parts underneath the vessel. However a Faro3D laser scanner was the ideal kit for the job to capture a full and complete point cloud of the vessel to a +/- 2mm single point accuracy and a +/- 3 to 4mmm across the entire project. The scanning was carried out by 1rst Horizon Surveying & Engineering.

A photo of Checking the Faro 3D laser scanner ahead of the recording
Checking the Faro 3D laser scanner ahead of the recording
A photo of Using the Faro3D laser scanner manually
Using the Faro3D laser scanner manually

The Logboat

The Poole logboat lies in a majestic position in the entrance at Poole Museum in Dorset. It is one of the largest prehistoric water craft to survive in the UK. Scientific dating by the radio carbon method has provided it with a date of BC 295 ± 50 (RC), dating it to the Iron Age.

A photo of The logboat being prepped
The logboat being prepped

Now, thanks to very generous donations from the Robert Braithwaite's Autumn Trust, the Gosling Foundation, The Headley Trust and the Valentine Charitable Trust we were able to complete the digital recording of the vessel and meet the publication costs of the monograph.

The new publication, with work carried out by leaders in their fields, includes distinct chapters on the archaeological and historical background, the environmental context, the timber science and ship science aspects, its conservation and a section on its interpretation and public display. This is a foreword by Professor Sean McGrail. The monograph will contribute enormously to our, until now, fairly limited knowledge of prehistoric craft.

The Autumn Trust1st HorizonThe Headley Trust